January 10

Red Claws’ Brooks earns NBA promotion

The swingman’s D-League success impresses the Celtics.

From news service reports

LOS ANGELES — NBA Development League performances should always be halved or even divided by three when attempting to determine what a player like MarShon Brooks can do when brought up to the parent team.

But the Celtics aren’t necessarily recalling him because of his 27.4 scoring average in five games with the Maine Red Claws.

“We needed him to get some rust off, and he did that,” Celtics President Danny Ainge said Wednesday when asked about his decision to recall the swingman for Friday’s game against Golden State.

Brooks has done exactly as expected with the Red Claws. In addition to his scoring, he has averaged 6.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Though Maine lost three times in that stretch, Brooks had a plus-24 rating.

“He’s played well, done a really good job,” Ainge said. “One reason we sent him down was to make sure he’s ready, in good shape and prepared for the opportunity that is coming to him.”

That comment mirrors the view of Celtics Coach Brad Stevens, who has said that Brooks’ playing time will come. Stevens has backed up this kind of view thus far.

Keith Bogans, for example, has played in two straight games for the first time with the Celts, a result of Courtney Lee’s trade.

It remains to be seen, with Jerryd Bayless now in the backcourt, how long that will last.

But Stevens appears committed to spreading those minutes around, especially with the Celtics in a serious tailspin, having lost six in a row.

RONDO A NO-GO

Though Rajon Rondo had brokered the idea of playing in a D-League game or two in an attempt to get ready for his first NBA action, the point guard declined his first opportunity.

The Red Claws were relatively close to the Celtics this week, at the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev., but Rondo chose to stay with the big club.

“The last I heard, he wasn’t going to play in Reno,” Ainge said. “He changed his mind about that.

“The initial decision, we were told, was that he would play (Tuesday), but the (Celtics) had a great practice in Denver (on Monday) and I guess he wanted to stay with the team after that.”

DOC MAKES POINT

Doc Rivers, from afar, believes Rondo is ready for the next step.

“We’ve talked a lot and I think he’s ready to come back,” the Los Angeles Clippers coach said Wednesday. “He’s a little concerned with not playing any games, but he’s been good with the leadership part, sitting on the bench, watching and observing. That will serve him well when he comes back. Obviously it will take him some time with the rust, but he’ll be fine.”

Rivers laughed at the suggestion that Rondo has been patient, saying, “Rondo, patient? Everyone would be. You want to get back, and especially the better the player. A Rondo, a Derrick Rose, patience is not something good for them. They want it now. But with an ACL you have to wait.

“You look at (Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III), he just wanted to get back. No one knows the timetable.“

Rivers also recalled when a Minnesota Vikings running back’s quick return from ACL surgery was Rondo’s ideal.

“Adrian Peterson was everyone’s model,” he said. “Every guy who had that injury assumed they could do what he did. But every injury is different, and playing on a hardwood floor is different. That makes it a big difference.”

OLD-TIMER

Based on the wear and tear on his 34-year-old body, Gerald Wallace is old.

But Jared Sullinger made his teammate feel even older recently.

“What’s funny is before (the Denver game Tuesday night) we were talking about high school basketball, and Gerald said he won the national player of the year in high school in 2000,” Sullinger said. “I started laughing and I said I won it 10 years later, and he got up and walked out of the room.”

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